Recently inducted in the International Karate Hall of Fame on November 11, 2005 and received rank certification and recognition from the World Union of Sokes in Puerto Rico, Hanshi Cynthia L. Thompson, a 9th Degree black belt in Shorei Goju Ryu Karate and a 5th Degree Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate began her martial arts discipline at the age of thirteen under Recently inducted in the International Karate Hall of Fame on November 11, 2005 and received rank certification and recognition from the World Union of Sokes in Puerto Rico, Hanshi Cynthia L. Thompson, a 9th Degree black belt in Shorei Goju Ryu Karate and a 5th Degree Black Belt in Shorin Ryu Karate began her martial arts discipline at the age of thirteen under Mr. Victor Hayes (Chicago) from 1979-1983 in the Shoto Kan Karate System. (Chicago) from 1979-1983 in the Shoto Kan Karate System.
1983-1984, she began studying Shorin Ryu Karate under Master James "Jaws" Butler and Shorei Goju Ryu under the tutelage of Masters Preston and Otis Baker while pursuing her academic career at Olive-Harvey College.1984-1985; she studied with John Venson at Chicago State University and advanced her martial arts career at Tankson's Karate Academy 1985-1992.
In, August 1985, where she received the rank of 1st degree Black Belt from Sensei Larry C. Tankson and Masters Preston and Otis Baker.
In 1987, Master Jo Pina (Boston) began coaching her to continue her success. Ms. Thompson began studying Tae Kwon Do under Master Pina from 1987- 1992. She would fly to Boston to continue her training every three to four months.
From 1984-1992 Cynthia was an avid competitor holding the following titles: Outstanding Martial Artist, #1 Female Kumite, #1 Weapons, #1 Forms, #1 Black Belt Female, #1 Black Belt Weapons, and #1 Kumite Competitor in the Midwest and Chicago.
#1 female competitor in several martial arts circuits such as Professional Karate Commission (PKC), American Karate Association (AKA), National Black Belt League (NBL), and NASKA.
Studying the martial arts has brought Hanshi Thompson additional state and national recognition by performing her competition Kata as talent, which resulted in her winning the following pageants: Miss Black Illinois 1987, Miss Black America 1987, Miss Colorado1989, Miss Glamour Girl 1989, Miss Windy City1999, Ms. Chicago State University 1995, and Miss Collegiate 1995.
In 1992, Hanshi Cynthia was awarded the McArthur Scholarship to study in Canterbury, England. During this time, she continued studying the martial arts while studying British Culture and Society in Canterbury England. 1996, she was awarded the McArthur Scholarship to study in Nakajo Japan. During this time, Kyoshi study and Kendo and was awarded the rank of Black Belt in Kendo from Kato Sensei.
Upon her return home, Hanshi Cynthia continued to teach the martial arts for Sensei Larry Tankson, Sensei Preston and Sensei Otis Baker. Over the years, she has shared her love for the martial arts by teaching for other martial arts schools in Chicago and Indiana, trying to encourage female participation in the martial arts.
Today, Hanshi is the founder and president of Thompson's Karate Academy Foundation, NFP (Sho Do Ryu) System where she awards academic scholarships to a graduating female/male high-school students and a non-traditional student's female/male over 35-years of age returning to college. She hosts a Karate Scholarship tournament every April to generate funds to afford the aforementioned scholarships.
Additionally, Hanshi Thompson teaches the Shorei GoJu/Sho Ryn Ryu Karate System at the South Suburban YMCA.